The U.N.'s labor organization is touting its 100-year anniversary as a symbol of multilateral cooperation, as key world leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron prepare to join the celebration.

Director-General Guy Ryder of the International Labor Organization, which has its roots in the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, stressed its staying power is due partly to its "tripartite" structure uniting labor groups, business leaders and governments.

He said: "Today, there is still too much division in the world, too much turmoil, and dialogue and understanding in and between countries seems frequently to elude us."

Ryder spoke Monday as the ILO's annual conference began. Many heads of state are to speak to the assembly on Monday and Tuesday.